1. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    Does anyone have any advice on how to prevent my Mum from messing with the fridge freezer plug? It is plugged in behind the fridge but on three occasions now ( not every day) she has pulled the fridge out, taken out the plug and moved it to a different socket where she usually plugs in the toaster. Then before she goes to bed, she switches off all her kitchen sockets so her freezer has defrosted overnight! Mum lives on her own and manages very well with support from us three children. Luckily my sister popped in today to take her some wine and realised the fridge was not switched on and has thrown out all the food.

    I don't think Mum actually uses the freezer anymore as she is not really cooking much, tending to eat out with us three or four times a week and live on salads, sandwiches, pies etc when on her own as she does not like ready meals ( we wonder if she can still use the microwave).. But we do need to make sure the fridge is left switched on. As a temporary measure, we are going to tape the fridge plug onto the wall in the socket behind the fridge in the hope that will deter Mum from moving it but I reckon she will just move the tape! Of course she denies moving the plug but no one else has been in the house!

    We were wondering if there is a lockable device which we can use to stop her being able to remove the plug from the socket.

    I have been reading posts here for ages and have found them very helpful. I think I will be asking for advice more frequently now as the symptoms of mums Alzheimer's get more advanced but so far she is still fine living on her own. We do find ourselves troubleshooting more frequently though!
  2. mumsgone

    mumsgone Registered User

    Dec 23, 2015
    would it be possible to get an electrician to move the socket to somewhere she cant see it or reach it ie maybe into a cupboard above. the only other thing i can think of is to make a cover for the socket and silicone it to the wall where it is.
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @Lynmax
    there are safety socket covers available, just search online, on some of the big sites especially
    when dad did this I got some thick white paper and covered over the sockets and plugs just using that and tape - because the whole thing wzs whited out, he no longer seemed to 'see' that it was anything to do with electrics
    he started turning everything off, especially the TV, leaning over it to do so ! I had to be sure to cover over any standby lights so the light couldn't be seen in the dark, as he retained the knowledge that this meant an appliance was still plugged in and would go hunting
  4. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017

    If you "Google" lockable electric socket protectors, it brings up a range of suitable products. In fact one of them is designed for AZ situations and is only £9.95 for a double socket and says it's simple to install.

    Hope this helps
  5. Rolypoly

    Rolypoly Registered User

    Jan 15, 2018

    Thanks for that, I’m going to have a look.
  6. Kat.moo

    Kat.moo Registered User

    Jul 11, 2018
    clippasafe electrical socket protector from amazon

    I just bought this one for my gran. She switches off the washing machine mid cycle. Still not got round to fitting it in though.
  7. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    Thanks everyone, we have ordered a cover from Amazon which should be delivered tomorrow so we can fit it over the weekend. So now the mischievous mystery person cannot swap the plugs!

    My next task is to get Mum to agree to me calling out the water board to sort out her blocked drains. She has apparently been using a jug of water to help flush the toilet for quite some time! I just need to persuade the water company to give me a fixed time slot instead of the three day window they gave me earlier this week when I had to call them out! Someone needs to be at the house with her to prevent her forgetting why they have called and sending them away! In this heat mums house is like a sealed vacuum and I cannot be there for more than a couple of hours!
  8. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    I had this with my father and the broadband router; it was the lights that attracted him and made him think they were dangerous if left on overnight. We solved it with some black tape, so it may be worth trying the cheap tape route first.
    Oops - just seen you've ordered. Hope it goes well.
  9. emp

    emp Registered User

    Jun 27, 2018
    Can I suggest that you also paint the cover the same colour as the wall? This will further 'mask' it and make it less attractive. For example if you have a blue wall and a white socket, that stands out like a sore thumb to someone with dementia whereas if the socket is also blue it blends in more. It could be that she is turning the socket off because that's what many people from that generation used to do to save electricity - my granddad without dementia still does this every night and he's 96!
  10. malomm

    malomm Registered User

    I think this is the best advice. Electricity is dangerous and your mum could start messing with stuff that make it a safety risk for both herself and everyone else. Get an electrician to move or camouflage all sockets so that she can't see or reach them. In our house everything electrical has had to be zeroed out. Mrs M's favourite pastime currently is trying to dismantle light sockets, telephone sockets, turn washing machine on (never, ever plugged in in sight when not in use), try the microwave (ditto) and so on. Do you think you may soon have to consider 24/7 watch at home?
    All the best and keep smiling,
  11. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    Lots of good advice here, thank you. The socket for the fridge is actually hidden from mum as it is behind the fridge. She actually moved the plug to a different socket.

    As she has only done this twice in about six months, it is not a regular thing but we just want to pre-empt her doing it again with the cover - which will also be behind the fridge out of sight.

    Mum still manages reasonably well living on her own, she is able to pop out to a local shop, use her bank card and the cash machine, dress appropriately, do a crossword in the newspaper, reconcile her bank statement and many other day to day things. She has no idea of dates, appointments, time frames or what she has been doing and makes up some amazing stories! My siblings and I feel she is a way off needing 24 hour care but it is something we discuss regularly. The next level of care, apart from our visits, would be carers three or four times a day when she is not eating properly or needs help around the house.

    She still has some cognitive awareness so it is not appropriate to use the LPAs to take control, but they are in place.

    Obviously if she does any more dangerous things round the house then we would need to step in quickly.

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